Two More Reasons Why Redesigns Suck

with 3 comments

I was so amped after yesterday’s post about redesigns, that I decided to write another.  So, here’s two more reasons why I want web site redesigns to die:

1.  The HiPPO

Big redesigns inevitably require reviews and approvals up the chain of command.  What does that mean?  It means that people who do not have detailed knowledge of the problem, and who are probably not domain experts, are inevitably giving their input on the redesign.

This happens, typically, by reviewing Photoshopped mockups, and 99% of this input is pure garbage…it’s opinion and conjecture.  It’s all about The HiPPO—The Highest Paid Person’s Opinion—and usually that’s the opinion that holds the greatest influence, even if the person doesn’t know anything.

2.  Collateral Damage

A big redesign typically means making all sorts of big moves and changes.  The result is that all sorts of unnecessary little changes that happen to accommodate the big ones.  Each of these changes is a door that leads to a little opportunity for someone to make a completely unnecessary change that is not even remotely based on user need.

You know what?  All of these little changes cost time to develop, rarely are beneficial, and often harmful.  To me, it’s like that that old adage, “throwing the baby out with the bath water”.

In other words, redesigns have collateral damage.  When you drop the redesign bomb, some civilians inevitably get hurt.

What’s the solution to this problem?

Stop with big redesigns, it’s just that easy.  Simply eliminate the concept from your project vocabulary.  Replace the notion with incremental changes that directly benefit your users, and that can be measured for effectiveness.

This approach won’t be as sexy as a “site redesign”, but I’m confident that the results will be better.

Written by scottporad

November 11th, 2009 at 8:04 am

Posted in Miscellaneous

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